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Stanisław Dziwisz

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His Eminence 
Stanisław Dziwisz
Cardinal Archbishop of Kraków
Dziwisz Stanislaw.jpg
See Kraków
Enthroned August 27, 2005
Predecessor Franciszek Macharski
Successor incumbent
Ordination June 23, 1963
Consecration March 19, 1998
Created Cardinal March 24, 2006
Other Adjunct Prefect of the Papal Household (1998-2005)
Personal details
Born April 27, 1939 (1939-04-27) (age 77)
Raba Wyżna, Poland

Stanisław Dziwisz (born April 27, 1939) is a Polish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is currently the Archbishop of Kraków and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006.

Early life and ordination

Born in the Polish village of Raba Wyżna, Dziwisz studied in local seminaries and, on successfully completing his theological studies, was ordained priest on June 23, 1963 for the diocese of Kraków by its auxiliary bishop, Karol Józef Wojtyła. Wojtyła kept Dziwisz on staff as his personal secretary during his time as auxiliary bishop and later archbishop. When Wojtyła was elected pope, Dziwisz continued in the diocese until he was summoned once more for service as private secretary to Wojtyła.


Dziwisz was appointed titular bishop of San Leone and joint head of the Prefecture of the Papal Household on February 7, 1998. He was ordained a bishop on March 19 of that year, the principal consecrator being Pope John Paul II, and the co-consecrators Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano and the then Archbishop of Kraków Franciszek Macharski. John Paul II elevated Dziwisz to the rank of archbishop on September 29, 2003, still having the titular see of San Leone.

Adjunct Prefect of the Papal Household

He was best known as a member of the Prefecture of the Papal Household and for his nearly forty years in service as private secretary to Pope John Paul II. John Paul and Dziwisz were said to have a father-son like relationship. Dziwisz slept in a bedroom next to that of John Paul's, was always near him during Mass, and was with him almost every waking moment. During John Paul's papacy, he became one of the most influential voices in the Vatican.

Death of John Paul II

As the health of John Paul declined, some speculated that Dziwisz, as one of John Paul's most trusted aides, may have been preparing the faithful for the worst. The Rome newspaper Il Messaggero reported that he mentioned his concern to another Polish priest. According to Vatican sources he told the priest, "Pray for the pope, because he's getting worse." [1]

On March 31, 2005 John Paul's condition became so serious that Archbishop Dziwisz administered the Anointing of the Sick to the Pope. Before the death of John Paul, Dziwisz was reported to have helped him write a message to his staff not to grieve, that he (John Paul) was happy and that they should be too.

When John Paul died on April 2, 2005, Archbishop Dziwisz was at his bedside. According to rules created by John Paul, Dziwisz packed his belongings and vacated the papal apartments before they were sealed by the Camerlengo. It was believed that John Paul had hoped to appoint Archbishop Dziwisz as Archbishop of Krakow and elevate him to become a Cardinal Priest, a post and title the pope had held. A vacancy did not however occur before John Paul's death. It was Pope Benedict XVI who named Dziwisz to the post of Archbishop of Krakow, and later elevated him to cardinal.

During the Mass of Requiem on April 8 for John Paul, Archbishop Dziwisz had the honor of placing a white silk veil over the face of the Pope before the body was lowered into three separate caskets. It was the symbolic last act of service of Archbishop Dziwisz as papal secretary for John Paul.

Archbishop of Krakow

On June 3, 2005, Benedict XVI appointed Dziwisz as successor to the retiring Macharski as Archbishop of Krakow. It had been suggested that John Paul II has been grooming Dziwisz for the position and was merely waiting for Macharski to retire before making such an appointment. Benedict XVI is believed to have made the appointment in fulfilment of one of the last wishes of John Paul II.

Styles of
Stanisław Dziwisz
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Kraków


At the consistory of March 24, 2006, Archbishop Dziwisz was raised to the cardinalate, becoming the Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Mariae de Populo. It is customary to name the bishops of certain important episcopal sees, such as Kraków, to the College of Cardinals. Dziwisz had also been mentioned as the possible secret cardinal in pectore appointed by John Paul II in 2003, but the pope took this secret to the grave. Dziwisz's elevation to the cardinalate will allow him to participate in any upcoming papal conclaves until his 80th birthday in 2019.

In May 2006, Pope Benedict named Cardinal Dziwisz to be a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


The Passion of the Christ

Dziwisz himself became embroiled in controversy over his role in a papal endorsement of The Passion of the Christ. [1]

Information on cooperating clergy

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz has forbidden a priest from revealing information on clerics cooperating with communist secret services. [2]




  1. The Passion of the Christ
  2. Cardinal censures curious cleric

Preceded by
Franciszek Macharski
Archbishop of Kraków
cs:Stanisław Dziwiszet:Stanisław Dziwiszla:Stanislaus Dziwiszno:Stanisław Dziwiszpt:Stanisław Dziwisz

ru:Дзивиш, Станислав sk:Stanisław Dziwisz fi:Stanisław Dziwisz sv:Stanisław Dziwisz

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